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Commonwealth calls for withdrawal of military from Fiji’s govt

26 April 2013, London

1. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held its thirty-ninth meeting in London on 26 April 2013.

2. The meeting was chaired by Hon Dr Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh. It was also attended by Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia; Hon John Baird, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada; Hon A J Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; Hon Dr Abdul Samad Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives; Hon Dr Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone; Hon Bernard K Membe, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Tanzania; Hon Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago; and Hon Nipake Edward Natapei, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Vanuatu.

3. CMAG welcomed the recent adoption by Heads of Government, and signature by The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, of the Charter of the Commonwealth, encapsulating the core values and principles of the Commonwealth. It noted that the Charter reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment inter alia to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of expression, good governance, tolerance, respect and understanding and the role of civil society. As the custodian of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values, the Group pledged to continue to promote these commonly agreed goals.

4. The Group reviewed developments in relation to the country currently on its formal agenda, Fiji.

Fiji

5. CMAG reiterated the Commonwealth’s unwavering solidarity with the people of Fiji, and CMAG’s commitment to Fiji’s reinstatement as a full member of the Commonwealth family, through the restoration of constitutional democracy, the rule of law and human rights, in accordance with the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth.

6. Ministers expressed their regret at the Government of Fiji’s diversion from the previously-agreed constitutional process, which had earlier been welcomed by CMAG and which had attracted widespread public engagement and confidence within Fiji.

7. CMAG called on the Government of Fiji to ensure that the steps now undertaken toward restoring constitutional democracy are credible and inclusive, and similarly enjoy the confidence and support of the people of Fiji, including:

a. a transparent and consultative process to achieve a constitution that accords with Commonwealth and internationally-accepted standards for democracy, good governance and the rule of law, and that genuinely enjoys the endorsement of the people of Fiji;

b. the restoration of the structures necessary for credible elections, including an independent Election Management Body;

c. the ability of political parties and candidates to contest elections freely under fair and consistent rules and on a level playing field;

d. withdrawal of the military from involvement in government; and

e. full respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms in accordance with international law and without undue restriction, including freedoms of speech, association and movement, and a free and independent media.

8. The Group expressed concern about ongoing restrictions on human rights and reports of human rights abuse in Fiji, and emphasised the necessity of full respect for human rights and the rule of law, to create the environment necessary for credible elections.

9. CMAG noted the visit to Fiji undertaken by the Pacific Islands Forum’s Ministerial Contact Group on 12 April 2013, and reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment to continuing to work in co-operation with regional and international partners in relation to the Fiji situation.

10. CMAG encouraged the Commonwealth to remain engaged with Fiji in appropriate ways, including the Secretary-General’s ongoing engagement with the Government of Fiji and other stakeholders, also encompassing further exploration of options for the provision of assistance to Fiji in relation to democracy and the rule of law.

God bless Fiji

The Pensions, The Pilferers and The P***ed Off

On 11 April, Vijay Narayan posted a story on FijiVillage.com reported questions put forward by former head of Airports Fiji and pillar of the Western community, Mr R Rickman.

Story by: Vijay Narayan  Time: 13:11 – 11/04/2013

Decrees like the ones in relation to the Fiji National Provident Fund reform cannot be legally challenged according to the draft constitution however the decrees can be amended or removed altogether by the next parliament.

Questions were raised by FNPF pensioner, Rick Rickman in the draft constitution consultation session in Lautoka on why the FNPF decree cannot be challenged.

Rickman said he and other pensioners entered into a contract and their pension has been cut under the reform.

Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said while the decrees can be reviewed or changed by the next parliament, people should understand that the FNPF reforms were necessary.

Within hours, a new, more beefed up version of the story replaced it. This time it included specific details about Rickman’s own pension – details which in any other society would remain confidential – and ready-made quotes from senior FNPF staff and of course a quote from the illegal AG.

Decrees cannot be legally challenged according to the draft constitution

Publish date/time: 11/04/2013 [16:59]

Decrees like the ones in relation to the Fiji National Provident Fund reform cannot be legally challenged according to the draft constitution however the decrees can be amended or removed altogether by the next parliament.

Questions were raised by FNPF pensioner Rick Rickman in the draft constitution consultation session in Lautoka on why the FNPF decree cannot be challenged.

Rickman said he and other pensioners entered into a contract and their pension has been cut under the reform.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said while the decrees can be reviewed or changed by the next parliament, people should understand that the FNPF reforms were necessary.

Sayed-Khaiyum said FNPF is not in existence to only pay pensions for the current pensioners but it is a long term fund.

Meanwhile, FNPF’s Assistant General Manager Prime Services said in Rickman’s case, this was Rickman’s personal choice after he withdrew a major portion of his refundable or initial pension amount that was allowed for all existing pensioners during the pension reform period when the pensioners were told to make their choice.

At that time, the FNPF pensioners had to decide on whether they wanted to take their initial pension amount out as lump sum or go on the pension based on the amount they decide to leave on pension.

How FNPF’s (mis)management team reached the thoroughly unprofessional decision to disclose such details is anyone’s guess but it does NOT make the regime look particularly trustworthy that a dissenter’s private details are so flippantly thrown out into cyberspace.

We The People deserve to know how the regime will repay the $2.9billion hole it has stolen from our hard-earned pensions.

We The People must not let the illegal regime get away with this. Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji

Kill The Chicken To Frighten The Monkey

The entire Fijian community – within our islands and overseas – is still reeling in shock at the video which graphically captures the beating of Iowane Benedito, the alleged escaped prisoner.

Some on the blogs and social networks believe the clip has been leaked to the media. But could it be something even more sinister?

The regime is on the back foot. They know they are at an all-time popularity low. They know they can no longer hide behind their lies. They know their decrees aren’t worth the paper they are written on. They know that discontent is seething among We The People.

If you cast your mind back to December 2006, back when We The People still believed in our inalienable rights (before the illegal regime went ahead and ‘alien-ed’ them), there was quite a bit of discontent which was being publicly expressed. At least, it was being publicly expressed until the illegal regime detained at their barracks our most visible, respected and admired rights advocates – all women other than one young man – holding them without access to legal representation, and criminally assaulting them. They killed innocent young civilian men in custody. Before the coup, they had killed the CRW soldiers, also while in custody.

The shock, revulsion and outrage at that time was comparable to that we all feel today. How dare they?!

They dare, because this is yet another tactic used to effect by illegal regimes in other parts of the world.  In China, the tactic is referred to as ‘killing the chicken to frighten the monkey’. The regime knows they cannot lock us all up. So instead they visibly target a select few, commit grave atrocities, and let word of it be spread among the population. They don’t need us to be completely scared. They just need us to be scared enough to not take action, to not speak out, to not have the courage to stand up and say ‘NO MORE!’.

They are cowards. And their time has come. Do you really think they will let us have elections in 2014? We must take action NOW before our country is further ravaged by the rot. We need strikes and demonstrations, up and down the country. We need to show the world that this illegal regime does not have our mandate, our support nor our meek compliance. We need justice.

Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji.

Illegal junta asks – who can we rob next?

Having realised that We The People have no more money, having pre-spent the money they’ve haven’t yet got from selling our natural resources to China and having not been able to hawk their junk bonds, the illegal regime is now hijacking our tourists, filling in the final missing colour in their rainbow of Killing The Goose That Lays The Golden Egg.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Fiji-departure-tax-jumps-50-percent/tabid/372/articleID/240161/Default.aspx

An instant hike  in departure tax from $100 to $150 is so transparently stupid that it almost defies belief. Is this the only way they have left of paying Qorvis? iArse, you have outdone yourself, yet again.

God bless Fiji

Minfo responds to YPCN statement

In the best of Orwellian tradition, the idea that ‘you should not feel threatened by the amendment to the Public Order’ Decree if you ‘do not want to create public disorder’ is utterly fatuous.
Let’s turn that one on its head, shall we?
If the regime did not want to suppress the collective will of We The People, it should not feel sufficiently threatened by Us to warrant needing to rule Us by Decree. It would allow Us to elect Our Own representatives to debate the decree before it passes into law. But no. This tinpot regime won’t even allow Us to vote in a Personality Contest without interference.
The regime calls POAD ‘an enabling statute’. This is the same warped, twisted logic that calls the 2006 coup a ‘sunset clause’ on our native land rights. The decree is intended to DISable Our voice. The regime is interested in ENabling nothing of We The People because it fears Our legitimate voice and Our legitimate powers.
How are We The People to voice Our aspirations, Our hopes, Our dreams, which this illegal regime continues to ravage as though Our beloved country were its own personal piggybank?
When are We The People allowed to speak? If they insist on stifling Our collective voice, how else can We The People be heard other than by standing up for Ourselves and saying simply “No. No more.”
God bless Fiji
.

From: Minfonews <news@info.gov.fj>
Date: 16 January 2012 17:09
Subject: GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO YPCN STATEMENT
To: Minfonews <news@info.gov.fj>

Government responds to YPCN LINK

GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO YPCN STATEMENT

The Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith Johns released the following statement today in response to the Young People’s Concerned Network:

If the Young People’s Concerned Network seeks to represent the leaders of tomorrow, it will need to do a better job of understanding recent Fijian history and of assessing Government provisions, such as the Public Order (Amendment) Decree—which it misreads either out of a desire to manipulate public sentiment or simply because of ignorance.

To compare the Public Order (Amendment) Decree to most other government’s laws regarding terrorism and extremism, such as the United States or Australia, would reveal immediately that Fiji is in fact more liberal than other countries. The U.S., for example, under the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama, allows the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the U.S., without charge. Fiji does not even come close to this. The United Nations General Assembly further encourages all nations to be proactive in taking steps to “prevent and combat” domestic and international terrorist threats in all their forms.

To be clear: If you do not want to engage in racial or religious vilification or create public disorder, then you should not feel threatened by the amendment to the Public Order Act. The amendment is an enabling statute—one that creates a safe place for open discussion and critical thinking across Fijian society for the formation of a true liberal democratic state.

This is because throughout Fiji’s history demagoguery and religious, racial and ethnic vilification have been used openly to harass and intimidate, and at times hold Fiji for ransom. Politicians and religious leaders have used race and religion, not just to denigrate others but as a political tool of ascendency. In the process, they created public disorder, inhibiting true democracy to flourish.

The Bainimarama Government takes seriously the welfare and opinion of Fijian youth, which underscores all of its activities to strengthen the Fijian economy, create jobs, invest in education and technology, and establish the basis for a new future.

-ends-